Cancelled: zaterdag, 10 juni
DE TAKBIOS | I GET KNOCKED DOWN | JEFFREE’S CINEMA
I GET KNOCKED DOWN 2021
Directed by Dunstan Bruce & Sophie Robinson
In English with English subtitles
Back in the late 1970s there was a splash of punk bands emerging from England, spurred on by one band called the Sex Pistols. The entire movement was chaotic, ununified, and some would argue subversive. But it only took a few months before it was co-opted by the marketplace, and therefore began following the rules of the market. Stereotypical costumes became normal, even 'rebellion' t-shirts were sold in the stores. It became more about imitation rather than creation.
But that wasn't the end of the story. A few years after the punk explosion already became a mockery of itself, a new band appeared. They were called Crass, and they were grass-roots, and politically charged. They had an acute intelligence that had totally disappeared from the scene, but more than that they also had a searing sense of commitment, and a vision. Crass proposed a fusion of thoughtful meditation, tactics and action. They encouraged people to stop just buying crap, and to take to the streets and change things. They kicked against the hypocrisies not only of the government and the mass media, but also against the punk movement itself, knocking it to another level.
Crucial to that new wave of inspired punkers was a band called Chumbawamba, who emerged from the squatting scene in Leeds. They lived communally and considered themselves DIY anarchists. Their first recordings were on tape cassette because that was seen as more democratic, since anyone could make a cassette tape themselves. During these years the major themes of their political activism were anti-war, pro-animal liberation, gender equality and grass-roots rebellion, and they were always doing benefit concerts to raise money for various causes. In fact, when I was sent to prison in London under false allegations in 1984, they organized a concert to raise the bail money to get me out. Musically they fused together elements of punk, folk, and pop into a unified racket. In the 1990s they grew and grew, and eventually became bigger than they ever dreamed, with hit records in the top charts. They attempted to infiltrate the pop world to make a difference, and of course their success was their demise.
This documentary is made by one of the band's members Dunstan Bruce. It charts their history and almost becomes a critique of political engagement, how our society works, and how the band self-destructed. But for me the film is, above all else, about the importance of community and the need to create alternative cultures.
Doors open at 20:00, film at 20.30
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